Around the time I got serious about starting to paint again I met my friend Dede Haas for drinks. I knew Dede through my networking activities while I was running my company. She is a consultant to technology companies specializing in channel sales, but she took a couple of years off while back to explore her love of photography. Her work is fabulous. Dede also lives near me and when we met she told me I should get involved with Falls Church Arts.
I decided to enroll in a class taught by Jean Marie Barrett called painting from the inside out. The premise was painting scenes looking out through windows and doors. It was a fun and challenging class and served the purpose of getting me back into painting again. Painting with Jean also served to build my confidence. Whenever I would cower in my lack of ability she would simply tell me I had the skills to do something and I should just do it.
I painted two paintings in that class. Interestingly enough, they were both from photos taken at Il Casale di Mele on a trip to Umbria Italy a few years ago. The first one is looking out the kitchen window. That’s my friend Sophie at the counter. This was my first painting in the class. In my opinion it’s not very good, but it did serve to get me back into practice.
The second piece I did is one of my best paintings ever. I’m not sure I would have even attempted it if it had not been for the confidence Jean instilled in me. This was done from a favorite photograph from the trip looking out a huge plate glass window from the dining room into the garden.
At Jean’s suggestion, I timidly entered it into the Falls Church Arts All Members Show (Spring 2014). It didn’t win anything, but I was quite proud. This was my first show.